Neiman Marcus' Cusp Builds a Loft in the Mall


Last month we told you about Neiman Marcus's new contemporary specialty concept, Cusp which is currently being launched as an answer to expanding competitors like  Barney's Co-op, Scoop and Intermix. Well, we have been down to Tyson's Corner Center in McLean Virginia to see the very first of four planned units. If you were expecting a clone of those stores we can report that the fine people at The Neiman Marcus Group have taken all the best elements of their potential competitors and mixed them up into something all its own.
A full report after the jump

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The Wall Street Journal Goes Shopping

Ptac749c_store_20060714175446This weekend, The Wall Street Journal decided to turn its analytical eyes to the world of luxury, and sent Vanessa O'Connell to take a big survey on the shopping habits of the aging and increasingly free-spending Generation X. (Ugh, are we aging?) Having spent nearly 15 years working in several of the stores she investigated, The Shophound had more than a passing interest in what O'Connell had to say, and we can sum up her premise by paraphrasing Woody Allen in "Annie Hall." Essentially, department stores are like sharks; either they move forward or they die. In her big graph chart comparing Barney's, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, she got a lot of things right, but may have missed a few important points.
More after the jump

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Neiman Marcus' Cusp Takes Aim At Barney's CO-OP

070606_33We've known for a while that Neiman Marcus was cooking up an expansion concept involving smaller stores, but yesterday, they announced in Women's Wear Daily that the new shops will be called Cusp, and four of them will be opening within the next nine months. The first one to bow will be in Virginia at Tyson's Corner Center later this month (we'll get a review of that one before the end of the summer), followed closely a Century City unit in Los Angeles a few weeks later. February brings a DC branch in Georgetown, and the fourth location has yet to be announced. Manhattan, perhaps? We're betting they will wait to perfect the formula before they take on such a high profile location, so our breath will not be held, and so far they are also avoiding their home turf in Texas. The description sounds like a direct challenge to the countrywide proliferation of Barney's CO-OPs, so we will be watching this provocation very carefully.